Hello September

september

Experiencing newly open packages of lined paper and freshly sharpened pencils in September truly feels like a fresh start.  I am ready to launch myself into the next season and I will be committing to a One Word/One Phrase Theme for the remainder of the year. My new One -Word Theme that gets me fired up is – Everyday.

They say that what you do everyday matters more than what you do once in awhile…
I have been developing ways of staying accountable for creating my best life, and I am realizing that being available, contributing, sharing, and being me EVERYDAY matters – yes, it matters greatly.

Does September make you feel similarly like a new beginning? If you are using the opportunity to choose One Word/Phrase Theme I am curious to know what it is, so share in a comment.

Character development and AYSI 103

I spent a great deal of time leading up to the beginning of the new school year prepping and planning in order to be organized, prepared, and to feel like a master of my own life.  Well, while the clothes were indeed clean, and the food was indeed prepped, and backpacks, paper, and pencils were indeed purchased – I still couldn’t get it all right!  I was late for pick up on the first day of Grade 1 and my Middle schooler was enrolled in the wrong program! WTF!!  I think what made it worse was that I had done the work ahead of time so I WOULDNT be dealing with crap….and the crap came anyways!

While I did have a little cry fest and had to realize (again) that I am (still) not perfect, I have been able to bounce back really quickly and look for the bright side – character development :)  For the boys AND I we are learning together how to deal with problems, cope with our emotions, be empathic with those around us, be forgiving and adaptable. That’s GOOD STUFF… can’t get that nowhere else.

In other (less traumatic) news we have some fantastic new designers who will be joining our AYSI Design Team next week.  You can check out a little bit about them and see their blogs on this weeks challenge. Speaking of this weeks  challenge – its a gorgeous fall colour challenge –

AYSIChallenge103

Here is what I did with it –

AYSI103Amanda

This is what happens when you don’t get all the new Stampin’ Up in colours. Tip Top Taupe is a new colour that just came out this summer, and since I haven’t gotten around to purchasing it (yet) I had to be all digital about it.  This is a photo I took last November from the hill above our house.  The landscape was just so ripe – I’d never seen it that striking before.

I was so happy to be able to use the September sketch from Stuck!? Sketches for this layout.  Check them out – they are super awesome!

If you have a project or an idea for a project using the colours above we would love for you to join us at the As You See It Challenge!

Seek and Ye Shall Find

It’s all a matter of getting clear about what you are looking for.  This week I was clear with my intentions on getting a whole lotta shit done.  I have several posts that I want to share with you about my getting organized for fall including my new Capsule Wardrobe and my Freezer Meals…. stay tuned.

We have moved into the “remnants of summer” season where the mornings and evenings are decidedly cool yet quite hot in the mid-day.  The approach of fall has made me appreciate my craft room more and I am looking forward to getting the hooligans back to their rightful spaces of learning.

This week over at AYSI we have a sketch to play with –

AYSIChallenge102

 

I turned to the tried and true –

AYSI102

Consistency is not my friend

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Consistency is defined as “the achievement of a level of performance that does not vary greatly in quality over time” – According to the Oxford Dictionary … I suppose I am consistently inconsistent.  That’s gonna have to change…..
Our As You See It Design Team call is pushing me to “up my game”. I don’t think they can kick me off the team, but I also recognize that I REALLY don’t want to be a person who has two sets of expectations (one slack one for me and one nice high bar for everyone else).  I shall be pondering the best course of action to drive my blogging behaviour.  In the meantime, if you have any suggestions – I am ALL ears. 

This week we have a sketch challenge –
AYSIChallenge101

OK, so I am realizing that one of the (many) things I need to “up my game” on is my project photos. Ugh.

AYSI101

I used the great big background stamp, Definitely Dahlia and sponged it with Hello Honey Tangerine Tango, and Watermelon Wonder and then cut out a strip.  The sentiment is from Best Day Ever, then I used a bit of ribbon for the swirlies :) I really liked how the colour combination turned out.

One Hundred

You’ll never believe this.

The As You See It Challenge is celebrating it’s one hundredth challenge.

One Hundred!

One Zero Zero!

That is SO cool!

Of course there is a BIG party!  You will totally want to go check it out – there are guest designers, and of course a new challenge, and best of all – Blog Candy!

The theme for this awesome-stravaganza is CELEBRATE!

AYSIChallenge100

 

I felt the pressure to do something over the top super-duper.  And then I went on vacation :)

So, instead I decided to reflect on what I want to celebrate.  The truth is that right now I am focused on gift of everyday life. The focus of my project was a simple Wednesday night laughter and photo fest with my oldest… These are the times to capture, document and cherish.

AYSI100-001

 

So…

Now its your turn to show us CELEBRATE – head on over to www.asyouseeitchallenge.com and join the PAR-TAY!

 

Project Life with Stampin’ Up – Oct 2014

I have some catching up to do with my Project Life album and photos.  I am creating new weekly habits to include time to work with photos and a blog post on Wednesdays.

Here is my first one using Seasonal Snapshot!

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New Habits Accountability Sheet

Last weekend while we were out camping on Mabel Lake (Lumby side) I finished reading Gretchen Rubin’s new book, Better than Before: Mastering the habits of our everyday lives. Gretchen begins very near the beginning of the book coming up with a sorting hat of attributes for most people as to what kind of a habit-maker you are – Upholder, Questioner, Obliger or Rebel. The remainder of the book gives promising ways for all kinds of people to create and keep habits.

In the time since I read this book I have put my life under the habits magnifying glass, and I have learned much. One of the first thing Gretchen points out is that 40% of what most of us do is regularly the same.  I felt as though my life was MUCH too varied to be able to inject routine into it, as there were probably more exceptions than rules.  In fact, I have probably been fooling myself in order to give myself a reason to not adopt routines.  When I examine this idea, it seems as thought I must not really be in love with the idea of routines (if I’m trying to get out of making them). Apparently I like to think of myself as spontaneous and an improviser. Well, ahem – that is actually NOT AT ALL things that make my regular life comfortable.  I like schedules and knowing what to expect and I’m slow to warm up to changes.  In fact, routines and habits might be just up my alley.  I was also very intrigued by the idea posed in the book that actions that are habitual take little mental cognition (because your not needing to use any decision-making power) leaving mental energy for the rest of life. Me likey.

This brought me to my next task….what habits to create??  Obviously I wanted to create good habits – ones that make me feel the way I want to feel and take me closer to the life I wish to have.  What I have come up with so far correspond pretty closely with what Gretchen calls, the Big Seven – the categories of habits many people wish to bring into their lives. Here is my list of new daily habits:

  • Floss my teeth
  • Walk Rosie (morning is best)
  • Make my bed
  • Read with Chae
  • Clean kitchen at the end of the day

I’ve got a few others that I am building up to and a few ideas for weekly and monthly things I want to begin adding into my life as well – that means more to come 😉

I’ve implemented these for a week and so far so good. Now I am looking for a way of monitoring my progress as I move into the second week, because as Gretchen reminds us “what gets monitored gets managed.” Here is the printable I made-
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I’m looking forward to printing these off and gluing them into my booklet that I carry with me everywhere.  I know I will enjoy seeing the check marks add up.

Do you have any good habits that you would like to start adding into your life?  Let me know what they are and what (if any) barriers you have to creating the good habits you want in the comments.

Digging out and AYSI 079

HELP! My craft room has been buried! It has been way to long to admit (so I’ll just lie to you) since I have been brave enough to carve a path to my craft desk.  Hence, the hiatus.  Here I am back again, after digging out in there today, with AYSI sketch 079.

AYSIChallenge079

And I used the concept from my dear friend Tara (also on the Design Team) to swap out the flowers for some more general shapes. Here’s how it turned out:

079Amanda

Cute hey?  Simple, tidy…it could have even been a one-layer card! I really like the bright colours and the whimsy kind-of nature to it.  I used the FREE Sale-a-bration set Best Day for all of the images. A couple of Coastal Cabana sequins gave it just a bit of shimmer/shine I thought it needed.

Digital Easter Card for AYSI

Thank goodness it is Friday…it has been one of “those weeks”. It’s over and now I can move on.

This weeks AYSI was a little tough for me. In case you haven’t noticed I have taken a little hiatus from physical crafting and am working solely on digital projects…and am really enjoying it. This weeks sketch:

AYSIChallenge076

 

So…how am I gonna make this into a scrapbooking page?  Hmmm…well, I guess I’m not. However, I can make a cute spring Project Life Card! Oh yes, I can :) Here is how it came out:

AYSI076-001

 

The papers are Special Delivery Subtle and First Edition.  The main stamp is from the Eclectic Overlays stamp brushes and then I coloured it with my brush.  I think the only kinda “fancy” technique is that I made it so that it looks like my happy easter flag is tucked under one side of the stamp and overlapping the other side.  After I finished coouring the image I copied and pasted it exactly over the original and then I cropped the top layer leaving the flag poking out on the right :)
I added white stitching on the left and a couple of pearls just because.  Hope you like it.

Loving the MDS – AYSI 075

I am just really enjoying getting back into my digital designing with My Digital Studio.  I got a few new downloads and had to put them to use right away.  This weeks As You See It Challenge was perfect to plunk some more pictures onto a page.

AYSIChallenge075

 

I had an idea of what photos I wanted to use, but couldn’t scrounge them up…guess that means I need to dedicate some time to doing some digital photo organize and clean up (a topic for another day).  Instead I decided to crop one of my favourite winter pictures that I took recently and tile them across the page…check it out –

AYSI 075 Amanda

 

It’s a little out of character for me to create such a dark page, but I really wanted the bright sky to be able to stand out. Isn’t it the coolest photo – taken of the skating pond up at our Ski Mountain.
The paper is Nobodys Business and to make it Black with the So Saffron I changed the colour once to black and then re-opened the paper again and re-coloured again to So Saffron.

MDS makes it really easy to crop your pictures all the same size, line up your crops and then align your photos.  The embellishments are nearly all from This and That Retro Fresh (my newest download – such cute stuff).  Hope this gives you some ideas :)